The Gregory Peck Film Collection [7 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • A conversation with Gregory Peck feature-length documentary
  • Fearful Symmetry: The Making of To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Making of Cape Fear
  • Academy Award best actor acceptance speech
  • American Film Institute Live Achievement Award
  • Excerpt from the academy tribute to Gregory Peck

Synopsis

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel was translated to film in 1962 by Horton Foote and the producer/director team of Robert Mulligan and Alan J. Pakula. Set a small Alabama town in the 1930s, the story focuses on scrupulously honest, highly respected lawyer Atticus Finch, magnificently embodied by Gregory Peck. Finch puts his career on the line when he agrees to represent Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man accused of rape. The trial and the events surrounding it are seen through the eyes of Finch's six-year-old daughter Scout (Mary Badham). While Robinson's trial gives the film its momentum, there are plenty of anecdotal occurrences before and after the court date: Scout's ever-strengthening bond with older brother Jem (Philip Alford), her friendship with precocious young Dill Harris (a character based on Lee's childhood chum Truman Capote and played by John Megna), her father's no-nonsense reactions to such life-and-death crises as a rampaging mad dog, and especially Scout's reactions to, and relationship with, Boo Radley (Robert Duvall in his movie debut), the reclusive "village idiot" who turns out to be her salvation when she is attacked by a venomous bigot. To Kill a Mockingbird won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Peck), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Captain Newman, M.D.
Gregory Peck plays a benevolent God-like figure in a white smock as Captain Josiah Newman, the head of a psych-unit at a Southwestern army base during the waning days of World War II. Newman is a patriarchal protector to his patients, preferring to keep him in his ward, rather than return them to certain death on the battlefield. The matriarchal figure of the ward is Lieutenant Grace Blodgett (Jane Withers), but Newman is more interested in his assistant Lieutenant Francie Corum (Angie Dickinson), with whom he is having an affair. Further help is provided by human nature expert, Corp. Jackson Laibowitz (Tony Curtis), the orderly. And Newman needs all the help he can get. Particularly with three patients: Colonel Bliss (Eddie Albert) is suffering from a guilt complex from all the men he has sent to death; Corporal Tompkins (Bobby Darin, in an Academy Award-nominated performance), although decorated for bravery in combat, calls himself a coward for failing to save his pal from a burning plane; and Captain Winston (Robert Duvall) is guilt-ridden and has lapsed into catatonia because he had hidden for over a year in the basement of a building in Germany. Although Newman wants to cure these men of their psychological problems, he doesn't want to see them returned to the war to be killed. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Arabesque
An expert in ancient hieroglyphics unexpectedly finds himself involved in a web of international intrigue in this chic, enjoyably tongue-in-cheek espionage adventure. Gregory Peck stars as David Pollock, an American professor whose predictable academic routine is overturned when he is hired to help translate a mysterious message written in an obscure ancient text. The real trouble begins, however, when everyone from a wealthy oil magnate to a foreign government to brutal criminals starts to chase Pollock, desperate to discover the nature of the deciphered message. Along for the ride is Yasmin Azir (Sophia Loren), the gorgeous lover of Pollock's employers, whose loyalties are questionable, to say the least. The tangled narrative proves less important than the film's stylish surface, from the colorful London locations to the Henry Mancini score. Certain touches date the film, like a brief foray into psychedelia, but the modish visuals are generally an appropriate match to the insouciant tone. Not taking itself seriously enough to be truly thrilling, Arabesque nevertheless stands as a witty, well-made example of a particular breed of airy, intentionally superficial comic adventure. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

Mirage
A dazed man, David Stillwell (Gregory Peck), wanders down the stairs of a New York skyscraper during a power blackout, only vaguely aware of who he is, where he's been, and why he has this nagging feeling that danger lurks all about him. Stillwell does know that many of the people in the building are acquainted with him -- and that he is somehow linked with the death of wealthy philanthropist Charles Calvin (Walter Abel), who has fallen 27 floors to his death (a special effect that was remarkable for its time). From this point onward, everyone Stillwell meets is connected with Calvin's death, or is in some way threatening Stillwell's well-being. When he seeks the help of Dr. Pepper-imbibing private eye Ted Caselle (Walter Matthau), he is told that "you don't want to remember" -- shortly before Caselle is murdered by persons unknown. Only the enigmatic Sheila (Diane Baker) evinces any real sympathy, and she too is part of the conspiracy aimed at silencing and/or neutralizing the dumbfounded Stillwell. Mirage has far too many twists of plot to go into here, but if you stay with it, everything is satisfactorily explained. Less than three years after its initial release, the black-and-white Mirage was remade in color as Jigsaw. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The World in His Arms
Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn play two seal-hunting rivals in this adventure film set in the days when Alaska was a Russian territory. Peck is adventuring seafarer Jonathan Clark, who falls in love with Russian Countess Marina Selanova (Ann Blyth) while the countess is in San Francisco fleeing an arranged marriage to the vile Prince Semyon (Carl Esmond). The Countess wants to hire a ship to take her to Sitka, AK, where her uncle, General Ivan Vorashilov (Sig Rumann), is governor. Portugee (Quinn) can't raise money for the voyage, so the countess agrees to sail with Clark, and the two quickly fall in love. But Prince Semyon sails into San Francisco just as Clark and the Countess are about to be wed, and the prince abducts her and takes her to Alaska, threatening to kill her uncle if she doesn't marry him. Clark and Portugee then agree to race to Alaska, with the winner getting the other's ship and the seal catch. Clark's boat wins the race, but the Russians arrest both the men as seal poachers. Countess Marina agrees to marry Semyon if he will order the seal hunters released. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

Cape Fear
After an eight-year prison term for rape and assault, Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) is set free. Immediately making a beeline to Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), the former prosecutor responsible for Cady's conviction, Cady laconically informs Sam that he intends to "pay back" the attorney for his years behind bars. Conducting a meticulous campaign of terror, Cady is careful to stay within the law. Sam, realizing that Cady intends to wreak vengeance by raping the attorney's wife (Polly Bergen) and daughter (Lori Martin), tries to put the ex-criminal behind bars, but has no grounds to do so. Chief Dutton (Martin Balsam) tries to help Sam with a few strong-arm tactics, but succeeds only in having the courts take Cady's side in the matter. Things come to a head when Sam moves his family to the "safety" of a remote houseboat on Cape Fear river. Cady shows up unannounced and is about to ravage Bowden's wife and daughter and when Sam turns the tables. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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